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Mozilla: VPN, Firefox 81 Plans and Add-ons

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Moz/FF
  • No judgment digital definitions: What is the difference between a VPN and a web proxy?

    Virtual private networks (VPNs) and secure web proxies are solutions for better privacy and security online, but it can be confusing to figure out which one is right for you. Here’s a look at how these services protect you and how to choose the best option for when you’re online.

    [...]

    A secure web proxy works for tasks that you might do only in your browser. This can amount to a lot of activity like shopping, paying bills, logging into social media and reading emails. A secure web proxy serves as an intermediary between your browser and the internet. Your web browsing data will pass through a secure tunnel to the internet directly from your browser, masking your IP address, so the web server you are contacting doesn’t know exactly where you are in the world. And that makes you harder to track and target.

    A proxy is useful when you’re browsing the web on a public WiFi. When a proxy is enabled, it will stop eavesdroppers on the same network from spying on your browsing activity or reading your transactions on unencrypted sites. It sounds harmless, but public WiFi networks can be like a backdoor for hackers.

  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 78

    The tab modal print UI work is still in full swing, and is aiming for Firefox 81.

  • Wladimir Palant: A grim outlook on the future of browser add-ons

    A few days ago Mozilla announced the release of their new Android browser. This release, dubbed “Firefox Daylight,” is supposed to achieve nothing less than to “revolutionize mobile browsing.”

    [...]

    What this text carefully avoids stating directly: that’s the only nine (as in: single-digit 9) add-ons which you will be able to install on Firefox for Android now. After being able to use thousands of add-ons before, this feels like a significant downgrade. Particularly given that there appears to be no technical reason why none of the other add-ons are allowed any more, it being merely a policy decision. I already verified that my add-ons can still run on Firefox for Android but aren’t allowed to, same should be true for the majority of other add-ons.

    [...]

    Before this release, Firefox was the only mobile browser to allow arbitrary add-ons. Chrome experimented with add-ons on mobile but never actually released this functionality. Safari implemented a halfhearted ad blocking interface, received much applause for it, but never made this feature truly useful or flexible. So it would seem that Firefox had a significant competitive advantage here. Why throw it away?

    Unfortunately, supporting add-ons comes at a considerable cost. It isn’t merely the cost of developing and maintaining the necessary functionality, there is also the performance and security impact of browser extensions. Mozilla has been struggling with this for a while. The initial solution was reviewing all extensions before publication. It was a costly process which also introduced delays, so by now all add-ons are published immediately but are still supposed to be reviewed manually eventually.

    Mozilla is currently facing challenges both in terms of market share and financially, the latter being linked to the former. This once again became obvious when Mozilla laid off a quarter of its workforce a few weeks ago. In the past, add-ons have done little to help Mozilla achieve a breakthrough on mobile, so costs being cut here isn’t much of a surprise. And properly reviewing nine extensions is certainly cheaper than keeping tabs on a thousand.

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  • Another Step in Automating the Pageload Recordings

    In a previous article, Kimberly Sereduck told us about Updates to Warm Page Load Tests and how we are continuously working to make our tests more representative of real user behavior. Besides that, we are working on automating the process of recording the website’s page load.

  • Practicing lean data is a journey that can start anywhere - Open Policy & Advocacy

    “It’s not about the destination, but about the journey.” I’m sure data and privacy are the furthest from your mind when you hear this popular saying. However, after a year of virtually sharing Mozilla’s Lean Data Practices (LDP), I’ve realized this quote perfectly describes privacy, LDP, and the process that stakeholders work through as they apply the principles to their projects, products, and policies. [...] There is an appetite to understand how we as consumers can hold companies accountable. One of the biggest surprises for me came when I would field questions at the end of a presentation, and people would ask about their rights as consumers and how they can hold companies accountable. For example, people wanted to understand their rights and recourse options if companies contacted them without permission, didn’t honor their unsubscribe requests, or did something else frustrating. I teach LDP for individuals to apply it in a business context, but we are all also consumers and customers. LDP can help us better understand how our own data should be handled and improve our understanding of what organizations are doing. We can then remember how we feel about certain situations and then ensure we are doing things in a more consumer-friendly way within our organizations. Lean Data Practices is a journey. For many there won’t be an ultimate destination because it is an iterative process. If you try to apply all the principles across your entire organization at once, you will find yourself overwhelmed and likely unsuccessful. To maximize your chance of success, my advice — which is the same advice we give when we present — is to just start somewhere. Choose one aspect of your business and focus on that, one pillar at a time. Once you’ve successfully applied the principles, go to a different business unit and do the same. Remember to review and adapt as products and business needs (or data!) change as well. You may likely never reach your destination, but you will see your company improve in its practices along the way.

  • Tor vs. VPN: Is One Better than the Other?

    Tor and VPN have unique ways to ensure user privacy on the Internet. They’re fundamentally very different yet have many similar aims. Due to the overlap in features, you may be weighing the pros and cons of using one over the other. Or maybe they can be treated equally but with separate purposes. This guide digs into everything you need to know about which software should be used for more Internet anonymity.

  • New Alpha Release: Tor Browser 11.5a2 (Windows, macOS, Linux)

    Tor Browser 11.5a2 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

    This version includes important security updates to Firefox.

Intel Core i9 12900K P-State Governor Performance On Linux Review

Since Intel's Alder Lake launch one of the test requests to come in a few times has been about the Intel P-State CPU frequency scaling driver and how its performance differs with the various governor choices available for altering the CPU frequency scaling behavior. Now that Linux 5.16 stable is out and running in good shape on Alder Lake, here are some Core i9 12900K benchmarks looking at various CPU frequency scaling choices and their impact on raw performance as well as CPU thermals and power consumption. With Alder Lake having seen fixes in Linux 5.16 as well as ADL-S graphics being enabled by default on this new kernel, it's a good target for carrying out the P-State testing. The main reader inquiry has obviously been about how how well these new Intel hybrid processors perform if moving from P-State "powersave" as is often the default governor on most distributions to instead using the "performance" governor that tends to keep the CPU in its higher performance states more aggressively than powersave. Read more

Stable Kernels: 5.16.3, 5.15.17, 5.10.94, 5.4.174, 4.19.226, 4.14.263, 4.9.298, and 4.4.300

I'm announcing the release of the 5.16.3 kernel.

All users of the 5.16 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.16.y git tree can be found at:
	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.16.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
	https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

thanks,

greg k-h
Read more Also: Linux 5.15.17 Linux 5.10.94 Linux 5.4.174 Linux 4.19.226 Linux 4.14.263 Linux 4.9.298 Linux 4.4.300

Android Leftovers